The Bible is full of relationships; examples of healthy as well as unhealthy ones.
Ephesians spells out clearly how to handle some of the fundamental relationships, beginning with the institution God began all of society with: marriage.
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
Ephesians 5:22 NKJV
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,
Ephesians 5:25 NKJV
Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:33 NKJV
There is so much here, as well as the verses between, for how God intended marriage to be.
A solid Biblical marriage brings fruit in so many areas.
Respect is not blind to sin, nor does it bend to allow that which is an abomination to God, but it instead holds fast to what is right and encourages a right standing before God.
Wives need to be right before God if they are going to be able to respect and trust their husbands.
It is from trusting in God that a wife can trust her husband, it comes from a security in the Lord Jesus.
Loving a person as Christ loves the church seems to be crystal clear.
Jesus Christ left His place in heaven to be born in a stable, to flee from an insane king, to live in a foreign land, to return after a time, and finally to begin His ministry, where He was misunderstood, misrepresented, and betrayed, a ministry which the culmination was being beaten, mocked, and crucified, all for the sake of the church, all because of His love.
Truly, husbands have an incredibly high standard, but Jesus will guide and direct and provide the way for those who choose to love like this.
What if you’re not married?
The Bible speaks to those who have parents and those who are parents.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
Ephesians 6:1-4 NKJV
Obedience to parents is not always easy, nor does the nature like to obey anyone other than self, but learning to practice self-discipline is a valuable lesson.
As adults obedience to parents can become tricky, but honoring God and serving Him first will clarify how to honor and serve one’s parents.
These verses speak directly to the father, but other places in scripture bring attention to the mother’s role as well.
Parents are to teach their children.
Deut. 6:6-7, 31:12-13, Prov. 13:24, 19:18, 22:6, Col. 3:21 are just a few verses dealing with this.
The Lord Jesus is our example in all things and since He taught and corrected His disciples with love and patience we too should teach and correct our children in His ways.
What if you don’t have any children and your parents are no longer alive?
Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.
Ephesians 6:5-8 NKJV
Bondservants are not common in our society, but these verses can certainly be applied to the working world.
As an employee, we can work: “in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,”.
But the chapter doesn’t end there, the verse is directed to the master, but it could easily be applied to the owner of a business, the boss, the supervisor, ect.
And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.
Ephesians 6:9 NKJV
Ephesians 6 continues to speak about relationships.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Ephesians 6:10-12 NKJV
For whatever relationship we may be in we can be guaranteed that God will give us direction in dealing with them.
When we walk in this world we will find trouble and often that trouble will come in the form of a broken relationship.
Therefore we must remain steadfast in God’s Word and remember that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood.
Our spiritual enemy wants to steal, kill, and destroy, but God has come to give life and that more abundantly.
Through Christ Jesus we can have healthy godly relationships.
Praise the Lord!
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for Your Word. Thank You for the wealth of knowledge and examples You have given in scripture. Lord Jesus please help us to be steadfast in Your Word and to walk in Your ways, especially in our relationships. Lord, help us to seek You and Your Word in all circumstances. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for the relationships we have in our lives. May Your name be glorified through us. Amen.